(A story by Ronny Weiser)
TEARS IT UP
One day I was minding my own business and reading my e-mail on AOL, when I
get an "IM", an instant message that is, from a 12 year old girl, Annie
Bennett, who claimed she was playing drums for a Rockabilly singer in Texas. I
think to myself, yeah, shua, these days rockabilly bands are proliferating
The girl asks me if I am Rockin' Ronny Weiser of Rollin' Rock Records, and I
think to myself, wow, how does this kid know about Rollin' Rock? It turns out
that she was drumming for MACK STEVENS, the Corsicana Wild Man, who had been
trying to track me down for many years. Mack first got turned on to Rollin'
Rock when he was only 12-13 years old in the early 1970s. At that point the
name Mack Stevens didn't mean dickweed to me, except that I thought that any
cat from Texas with "Mack" as part of his name couldn't be all bad!
Soon enuff I talk to the Mackster on the phone and he's so kind to send me his
LP and cassette: wow, what an authentic greasy 1956 Texas sound: simply
amazing! It felt good to know that Rollin' Rock had an influence on such a
savage Texas Rocker!
I finally saw the Corsicana Flash rockin' frantically at the Denver Rock N'
Rhythm-Billy Weekender: it was an outrageous performance of wild Texas Rock!
Mack Stevens was drenched in sweat from the top of his head to the tip of his
boots! He played on his back, he played on his stomach, he jumped into the
audience, he was roaring and howling and twirling and twisting like a Texas
Tornado. The wildest Rock'n'Roll show west of the Mississippi for sure!
After the show, I go shake his hand, and as I am about to ask him: how would
you like to record for Rollin' Rock, he beats me to the punch and says: "How
would it be possible for me to record at Rollin' Rock?"
Pictured: Big Al, Jim, Mack, Ronny, Roger.
So it finally happened! Sunday, May 3 1998, I picked up Mack Stevens at
the airport, and that same day we had finished recording 12 tracks of classic
Wild Wild West Rock, Hillbilly Bop, Texas Boogie, and Las Vegas Stomp!
Next day, 8 more greasy sexy rockers were cut here at Rancho Ronny, the home
of Rollin' Rock Records!
Man alive, what a session, what a sound!
The excitement and success of this session wouldn't have been possible, were
it not for these great rockabilly musicians:
Big Al Ek on guitar, and Mary Ek on slappin' bass and vocals, of the Las Vegas
rockin' 'billy blues band The Shuffle Aires.
Roger Casanova, on slappin' bass, courtesy of Las Vegas' premier Rockabilly
band, Dragstrip 77.
Jim Lovgren, of the Las Vegas Country & Western band Western Rain.
All photos courtesy of Laurie Weiser
This interview originally appeared in the May '98 issue of Rockin' Ronny's RAB-HOF column.
Visit Ronny at the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.